Hurricanes and All Blacks loose-forward Ardie Savea says he wants to play rugby league and would consider joining the 13-man code as soon as next year.
The 26-year-old, currently out injured following knee surgery, is under contract with New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2021, but says that he ‘100%’ wants to play rugby league in the near future.
Speaking to former Kiwi player Isaac John on his ICE Project podcast, Savea revealed that the idea was sparked by playing alongside former All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams.
‘I just think they [the players] do a lot more in terms of off-the-field stuff than New Zealand. And also, just a new challenge,’ said Savea.
‘I want to test myself. Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union and if I can do that in league. That excites me.
‘Seeing guys like Sonny do it and the way that has benefited him. It kind of plays on my mind a bit. It sucks that I got this injury because I was low key thinking about it [switching to league] for next year.’
The Hurricanes star, who was voted the best All Black in 2019 by his peers, revealed that his preferred destinations – should he join Australia’s NRL competition – would be the Melbourne Storm or the Sydney Roosters, Williams’ former club.
The powerful ball-carrier has previously represented the All Blacks Sevens team and possesses pace and dynamism that would make him an asset for any team.
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